Blog Archives


Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) makes inroads in strengthening a stronger voice for accountable human rights response in South Africa.

HURISA Human Rights Forum was identified during the launch of the National Report on the 25th Anniversary of human rights and democracy in South Africa, facilitated by HURISA on 7th August 2019 at Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

This Human Rights Forum was provoked by the communities’ desperation for action beyond dialogue and will serve as a new vehicle to amplify Voices from the ground in keeping communities abreast and engaged on the human rights crisis facing the country and as well as contributing solutions to the crisis, to move forward from promise to delivery.

With this, a new paradigm shift is realised for holding government and communities accountable to human rights in the country. The launch of the national report brought together a diverse grouping of community activists from nine provinces of the country which includes human rights defenders, journalists, academicians, cultural and religious activists, some local municipalities and representatives from provincial government departments.

It was noted that while South Africa’s Constitutional framework is hailed as a beacon of hope and globally acclaimed as a progressive human rights instrument, unfortunately implementation has been thwarted by among others, extreme lack of political will displayed in the flagrant corruption in state institutions, constant breaches of public duties, increasing crime levels, brutal violence and gender based violence.

As for the current and past human rights violations that grapple the country, especially the backlog on service delivery, violation of freedom of association, assembly and expression including the lack of implementation of basic fundamental rights and irregular compliance with national, regional and international human rights obligations have resulted in violent protests that dubbed South Africa as a violent society.

The collapse of state institutions, break down of the rule of law and unaccountable leadership have sparked violent service delivery and the current anarchy in our society including uncontrollable crime. While the scourge of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups such as People with Albinism, People with Disability, Indigenous Group and Refugees requires concrete plan of action and supportive and competent law enforcement. In addition, substance abuse and crime amongst youth needs urgent attention in efforts to build South Africa’s future.

Unfortunately this bad picture of human rights mostly affects the poor who live in rural communities and whose situation remain unchanged. It is concerning that the suffering of the poor has been increased by the very leaders they have voted in power as many of them wonder why their situation remains unchanged even in the new human rights and democratic dispensation.

For example, many wonder why they continue to use pits toilets, why should children continue to walk long distances to school, and taught in inhuman and degrading school environment characterised by mud and dilapidated schools buildings and as well as the mushrooming of informal settlements.  They question the ruling party for the existence of extreme gaps of inequality between the haves and haves not, including a few privileged enjoying human rights and democracy in the country.

The political deployments, nepotism, violent political intolerance, exoneration of the perpetrators of human rights violations disregard commitment to tackle the past economic and social injustices. This picture negates the hard earned aspiration of a democratic country based on human dignity and freedom. It also attributes negatively on South Africa’s nascent human rights and democratic dispensation.

South Africa as world leader and non-permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council for the next two years calls for renewed commitment to upholding human rights obligation for upliftment of the poor and disadvantaged. This includes installation of competent and value based leadership at all spheres of governance and community. Furthermore, South Africa’s chairship to the African Union is positive and will need to maintain a good example of human rights and democracy for Africa’s upliftment and to be innovative towards achievement of the African Union Agenda 2063.

A High Level Panel is planned for 10 September 2019, where Retired Justice Richard Goldstone will be in conversation with key legal fraternal and civil society in search of a solution to the worrying state of human rights in South Africa.

Download

For more information contact

Lindiwe Khoza

HURISA Communication and Advocacy

lindiwe@hurisa.org.za

Mobile 063 319 8346

Comments Off on ENABLING ENVIRONMENT NATIONAL ASSESSMENT: SOUTH AFRICA

COUNTRY REPORT0 AUGUST 2018.

This research explores civil society monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.10 on
fundamental freedoms and access to information, as well as SDG 17.17 on effective civil society
partnerships in South Africa. In particular, the research examines the five dimensions associated with
SDG 16.10 and SDG 17.17, which are: (1) freedom of association; (2) freedom of expression; (3) access
to information; (4) peaceful assembly; and (5) effective civil society partnerships.Read More

Comments Off on 2016 A NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF THE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is part of the Civic Space Initiative, implemented
by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
(ICNL), in partnership with ARTICLE 19 and the World Movement for Democracy, with support of the
Government of Sweden.
This report is wholly financed by the Government of Sweden. The Government of Sweden does not
necessarily share the opinions here within expressed. The author bears the sole responsibility for the
content.Read More

Comments Off on 2015 A National Assessment of the Enabling environment for Civil Society organisations in south africa

The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is part of the Civic Space Initiative, implemented by CIVICUS: World
Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), in partnership with ARTICLE 19
and the World Movement for Democracy, with support of the Government of Sweden.
This report is wholly financed by the Government of Sweden. The Government of Sweden does not necessarily share the
opinions here within expressed. The author bears the sole responsibility for the content.Read More

Comments Off on #YahyaMustGo: Statement calling for Solidarity with the People of The Gambia

For Immediate Release: 19 January, 2017

 Today’s deadline for Jammeh Yahya to step down as president of the Gambia has been characterized by Yahya’s recalcitrant refusal to stand aside and allow the will of the Gambian people to be respected.

As civil society organisations, we are raising our voices in solidarity with the people of the Gambia who have since the 1994 military coup, which brought Jammeh to power, endured decades of dictatorship and systematic human rights violations under his rule, in particular stifling of freedom of expression, association and assembly. Journalist, human rights defenders and activists in the Gambia have continued to operate in hostile conditions, have been threatened by reprisals, abductions and experienced other gross human rights violations. Over the years under the Jammeh regime, there has been much outcry from the people of the Gambia for the world to pay attention to the various atrocities inflicted on them.

The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the apex regional human rights body of the continent, is located in the Gambia. It is a key human rights vehicle which ought to promote and protect human rights. Despite its close links to the country, the African Commission has over the years been very lenient in holding Yahya accountable for his authoritarian rule.

We have recently learnt that the Secretariat has been temporarily moved to Senegal in light of the political tensions in the country. More than thirty thousand civilians have also left the country. We must be reminded that, at the centre of conflict, women and children tend to be victims of numerous human rights violations; and that displacement further exacerbates their vulnerability. The repercussions of war are far reaching for many and the difficulty of sustaining peace post conflict can be overwhelming.

We call on the African Union to use mechanisms to address these types of situation. For example, the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance has been breached given the current situation. Article 23(4) applies here – Jammeh’s refusal to relinquish power constitutes a breach of the Charter, therefore appropriate sanctions must be imposed on him. We call on the African Union to put its weight towards the volatile Gambian situation in realisation of this article.

Furthermore, the AU Peace and Security Council will be presenting a State of Peace and Security Activity Report in Africa tomorrow. We are calling for this meeting to make sure that the state of the Gambia is put on the agenda and a resolution is adopted in this regard, ensuring that Yahya steps down. Being mindful of the fact that Africa is working towards silencing the guns, peaceful solutions should be explored outside of military interventions.  Africa must step forward and actualise solutions befitting African problems.

The people of the Gambia have lived under Yahya Jammeh’s authoritarian rule for two decades, and have done so peacefully. Now, they have now spoken. Jammeh must respect their voice.

We applaud Botswana for announcing that it no longer recognises Jammeh as president of the Gambia; and we urge all AU member states to do the same; and also to recognise Adama Barrow as the President of the Gambia as soon as he has been sworn in.

We remain in solidarity with the people of the Gambian people, in their quest to have their democracy respected without the need for resorting to preventable violence.

Statement prepared by the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (CHR-UP), Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC) and supported by CIVICUS.